Not all franchises are created equal, and this especially holds true for Chocolateria San Churro. I’ve tried the branches in Northbridge, Leederville, Hillarys and East Vic Park, and the difference in quality is discernible. This review of the East Vic Park franchise is the result of two visits with my son AB. This is closest to his home in Kensington, and is where he goes when he needs a cheap chocolate fix. He says he can feel confident that his favourite dish of the warm brownie with a side dish of milk chocolate sauce, is consistently good. Sadly the same cannot be said for all of their products.
Now generally if I’m ordering a hot chocolate or mocha, I don’t order dessert as it’s all a bit too much. The hot chocolates are so rich that it’s pointless ordering a side of cake or chocolate-something-or-other to go with it. However, I was tempted by a truffle on my first visit, and ordered one of the salted caramel variety. It was smooth, salty, caramelly, and really very good. Combined with my couverture mocha, I was well satisfied.
AB of course ordered his standard warm brownie with chocolate sauce on the side. Now I have tried this dish and can vouch for its yummy factor.
On my second visit to the EVP branch a few weeks ago, I thought I’d try the Madrid mocha. Hmmmm. Passable but not a patch on the couverture variety.
Now when we visited the second time, it was around midday and I felt like a little something to eat. Wasn’t fussed about eating chocolate as it was a bit early for me, whereas AB can eat chocolate or dessert at any time of night or day. His stomach doesn’t discriminate.
Now there isn’t much of a choice apart from chocolate at this place. You either eat chocolate or you don’t eat. Other than the cinnamon breakfast churro which is available until midday. Apparently we were about 10 minutes too late to get this breakfast churro, so this left me with only one other option.
“I’m going to order the churros” I told AB. He sighed and shook his head.
“Ma, you’re going to be disappointed”, he said gravely. “They’re never nice; whenever I’ve tried them they’re always dry”.
Well I’d had them in Northbridge and they were soft and hot and sugary and pretty yummy really, so I thought they would have to be the same here, right?
Oh no. That notion was quickly dispelled. Lukewarm, overcooked and as dry as a cow dung baked in the sun. AB just couldn’t resist saying “I told you so”. If I had to guess, I’d say these had been cooked beforehand and thrown in the fryer again to warm them through. Just look at those sad, thin, dehydrated sticks. Where was that spongey, soft, fluffy interior coated in a hot, crispy, sugary skin? Apparently it had died and been cremated.
Look, for the most part this franchise gets its formulas right. The drinks and chocolates are generally top notch. It’s the sort of place where families and kids love to come and get their fill of chocolately goodness, and their take home packs of hot chocolate mix are a big hit with my sons.
Am I being picky because I expect their namesake dish to be just right? I don’t think so. If the staff at the Northbridge store can get it right, then the staff at the other branches should be able to too. A store devoted to all forms of chocolate is a winner, but you have to pay attention to the details.
It’s not tricky – just DO NOT OVERCOOK THE CHURROS. That is all.